voices from the past


Dot and the Kangaroo

by Ethel C. Pedley (1860 - 1898)

. . . the story continues . . .

The Kangaroo saw that Dot's father was grateful, and so she was pleased, but she did not like to be stroked by a man who let off guns, so she was glad that Dot's mother had run to where they were standing, and was hugging and kissing the little girl, and crying all the time; for then Dot's father turned and watched his wife and child, and kept doing something to his eyes with a handkerchief, so that there was no attention to spare for Kangaroos.

The good Kangaroo, seeing how happy these people were, and knowing that her life was quite safe, wanted to peep about Dot's home and see what it was like for Kangaroos can't help being curious. So presently she quietly hopped off towards the cottage, and then a very strange thing happened. Just as the Kangaroo was wondering what the great iron tank by the kitchen door was meant for, there popped out of the open door a joey Kangaroo. Now, to human beings, all joey Kangaroos look alike, but amongst Kangaroos there are no two the same, and Dot's Kangaroo at once recognised in the little Joey her own baby Kangaroo. The Joey knew its mother directly, and, whilst Dot's Kangaroo was too astonished to move, and not being able to think, was trying to get at a conclusion why her Joey was coming out of a cottage door, the little Kangaroo, with a hop-skip-and-a-jump, had landed itself comfortably in the nice pouch Dot had just vacated.

Then Dot's mother, rejoicing over the safe return of her little girl, was not more happy than the Kangaroo with her Joey once more in her pouch. With big bounds she leapt towards Dot, and the little girl, suddenly looking round for her Kangaroo friend, clapped her hands with delight as she saw a little grey nose, a pair of tiny black paws, and the point of a black little tail, hanging out of the pouch that had carried her so often.

"Why!" exclaimed Dot's mother, "if she hasn't got the little Joey Jack brought me yesterday! He picked it up after a Kangaroo hunt some time ago."

"It's her Joey; her lost Joey!" cried Dot, running to the Kangaroo. "Oh, dear Kangaroo, I am so glad!" she said, "for now we are all happy; as happy as can be!" Dot hugged her Kangaroo, and kissed the little Joey, and they all three talked together, so that none of them understood what the others were saying, only that they were all much pleased and delighted.

"Wife" said Dot's father, "I'll tell you what's mighty queer, our little girl is talking away to those animals, and they're all understanding one another, as if it was the most natural thing in the world to treat Kangaroos as if they were human beings!"

"I expect," said his wife, "that their feelings are not much different from ours. See how that poor animal is rejoicing in getting back its little one, just as we are over having our little Dot again."

Chapter 13 pages:  one   two   three   four   five
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